Opportunities for NFC West pass-rushers

A quick look at key matchups involving NFC West offensive tackles in Week 11:

  • Arizona Cardinals LT Levi Brown vs. the San Francisco 49ers. This will be a rough, rough matchup for the Cardinals. Justin Smith and Aldon Smith are difficult matchups for any opposing tackle. Aldon Smith has no sacks in his last two games after collecting 6.5 over his previous four. The drought likely ends after two games. Justin Smith affects games every play whether or not he gets sacks. I suspect his three-game streak without one could end here. He collected three sacks against Arizona in Week 16 last season. The 49ers' Ahmad Brooks rushes from the other side; he had a three-sack game against the Cardinals in 2009.

  • St. Louis Rams LT Rodger Saffold vs. the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle's Chris Clemons had two sacks at St. Louis last season and 2.5 against the Rams overall. He has no sacks in his last three games. The Rams' Sam Bradford took a season-low one sack against Cleveland last week. The Rams' running game has improved recently, helping Bradford, but Seattle is strong against the run. Saffold has struggled with injuries and hasn't taken a step forward following a promising rookie season. This matchup should favor Clemons.

  • Seattle Seahawks RT Breno Giacomini vs. the Rams. Chris Long has five sacks in the Rams' last three games. An injury to right tackle James Carpenter sends Giacomini into the lineup. Carpenter was struggling in pass protection. Giacomini could have a hard time, too, but I think Carpenter would have had it tougher in this matchup. Either way, Long has to like his chances. But with Seattle's Russell Okung playing well at left tackle, the Seahawks should be able to help Giacomini. Tight end Zach Miller has the strength to hold up well in protection. Terrell Suggs and DeMarcus Ware managed no sacks against Seattle over the last two games, but they generally rush from Okung's side.

  • 49ers LT Joe Staley vs. the Cardinals. Arizona' Calais Campbell has been dominant at times lately. He will not match up with Staley exclusively, but their matchup is one to watch. Campbell has 2.5 sacks and an interception in the Cardinals' last three games.

This is looking like a big week for players to pad their sack totals unless NFC West teams take drastic measures.